Picture Bride

Director: Kayo Hatta
Screenwriters: Kayo Hatta, Mari Hatta

Institute History


Picture Bride is an enchanting labor of love by Hawaiian-born
Japanese-American filmmaker Kayo Hatta. Shot by the masterful
Claudio Rocha (The Beginning and the End, Like Water for Chocolate),
and staring the extraordinary Youki Kudoh (Mystery Train. Ryukyu No
Kale/' the film is an inspired portrayal of Hawaii's plantation era.

Set in 1915, Picture Bride introduces us to a world which is totally
unfamiliar to most of us. Describing the struggles and joys of the
pioneers of modern Hawaii, executive producer Diane Mei Lin Mark
explains " . . . the immigrants surmounted the stumbling block of racism
and laid the foundations for one of the world's most successful
multi-ethnic societies."

Riyo (Youki Kudoh) is eighteen years old when she leaves her native
Japan and takes a chance as a picture bride in Hawaii. Her marriage
has been arranged by elders, and her only knowledge about her husband
is based on a single photograph. But when Riyo meets her husband
Matsuji, he is twenty years older. than his photo, and Hawaii's plantation
life is not the paradise she has dreamed it would be. Homesick and
disillusioned, Riyo is desperate for a friend. One night she meets a mysterious
woman in the cane fields, who guides her through her. first year
in Hawaii and leads her to unexpected happiness.

Shot in Waialua on Oahu's north shore, Picture Bride is simply
beautiful. The lighting is magical. and the performances are rock solid.
Hatta directs with confidence and plumbs the emotional depth of every
character. The story celebrates life and digs deep to find its hidden
meanings. The world of the film is fresh and new, and Riyo's plight remains
etched in our hearts.
—Catherine Schulman

Saturday Jan 22 4:30 pm
Sundance Screening Room

Saturday Jan 29 3:00 pm
Prospector Square Theatre


— Catherine Schulman

Screening Details

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